New to making jewelry? This coming June, Rio will offer the Jewelry-Maker's Techniques Toolbox, a 5-day hands-on learning extravaganza of jewelry techniques! Taught by designer, jewelry maker, and teacher Jim Dailing, this class will cover every basic technique jewelers need to stock their just-gettin'-started toolbox of skills. And if you're a teacher, looking to teach these essential skills to aspiring jewelers yourself, Jim will also offer tips on how to set up and organize a classroom and will share information on how to successfully teach the skills and techniques of making jewelry that you've acquired throughout your career.
Each day of the 5-day workshop, Jim will teach a new skill or two or three, and everything from sawing to filing to soldering to annealing to metalforming to polishing and finishing—even to casting—will be covered. Find out all about safety concerns, too, because making jewelry is no game for sissies. The projects you work on as you practice your new skills will be yours to keep. As a teacher, feel free to use these projects as you teach your own students going forward.
Here's a brief outline of what's in store for you each class day:
- Day 1- Paperclip and fibula. Learn basic hand-eye coordination with snips and various pliers while working with wire. Students intuitively draw three-dimensionally with wire, creating functional, yet sculptural objects.
- Day 2 - Cold connection pendant. Begin using the jeweler's saw as well as the flex shaft (with drills and burs), riveting hammers, files and sanding sticks. Toward the end of the day there will be a demonstration of subtractive wax model making and investing. The burnout will take place overnight in preparation for a casting demonstration on day 3.
- Day 3 - First thing in the morning will be an introduction to setting up and working with various torches and fuel options. The rest of the day will be spent on casting. Several casting options will be demonstrated. We will start with drop casting in water, followed by broom casting and then finish up with a discussion of both vacuum and centrifugal casting. A demonstration of this will use the wax models that were invested on day 2.
- Day 4 - Soldered ring. Fabricate a ring using silver soldering methods, including sweat soldering as well as solder pick use and stick soldering.
- Day 5 - Finishing processes. We will cover polishing options using both buffing machines and flex shafts, along with various polishing wheels, abrasive wheels, bristle brushes and more. Burnishing techniques will be demonstrated.
The Jewelry Maker's Techniques Toolbox takes place from June 9-13. Sign up now to reserve yourself a bench, and prepare to acquire a bunch of new techniques and hone the skills you already have. For five glorious days in the Saul Bell Training Room at Rio Grande, you'll enjoy building the foundation for a great career. Have a week of fun getting your hands dirty, while you create beautiful jewelry pieces. Take your new skills home and polish them as you fall in love with the magic of creating jewelry.
I loved this class when I took it and never had so much fun learning. When it's all over, let me know, how did you like it? What is the skill you're just naturally great at? Which one did you feel most proud of learning? I can't wait to hear what you thought!Comment on this article
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